Royal Caribbean International’s ship, Utopia of the Seas, goes full steam ahead and reaches the first major milestone in its construction. Today, at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, the keel-laying ceremony of the first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) of the Oasis Class, a benchmark in the sector, was held. The event marks the official start of physical construction of Utopia ahead of its spring 2024 unveiling.
“The keel laying ceremony for Utopia of the Seas represents the first milestone of an incredible ship and a step towards a bolder and more exciting future for Royal Caribbean,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. Utopia’s debut in 2024, after Icon of the Seas begins sailing in fall 2023, will underpin an exciting new chapter that’s poised to redefine family vacations and getaways for all ages in ways we’ll soon reveal.”
At the ceremony, the teams building Utopia watched as newly minted coins were placed in the ship’s first 948-ton block of steel. Ancient maritime tradition calls for coins, representing Royal Caribbean and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, to be placed in them to bring luck during the ship building process and while at sea.
“Today we celebrate with Royal Caribbean International an important tradition and milestone for Utopia of the Seas,” said Laurent Castaing, CEO of Chantiers de l’Atlantique. “The construction of Utopia is an exciting opportunity for the teams at Chantiers de l’Atlantique who aim to make this cruise ship one of the most environmentally friendly ships in the world equipped with new generation dual fuel engines.”
As the second Royal Caribbean ship to run on LNG, Utopia is the advancement and example of Royal Caribbean in its commitment to caring for the environment, as it has been doing for decades. The ship’s LNG technology will join a series of green initiatives established by the cruise line on its ships. From connecting to shore power to waste heat recovery systems, Royal Caribbean’s practices have been continuously developed and improved as part of a dedication to innovation and moving toward a clean energy future.